Selling The Intangible

If you sell something on the web, your message has to be dialed in 150% to achieve that all important visitor purchase. Everything about your marketing, advertising, social messaging and yes your copy and images on the your site must be dialed in to perfection. Read on and see if some of these ideas can benefit you.

This article is called “Selling the Intangible” because for many companies, that is what they are trying to do with web sales. Whether it’s a classical guitar with a cedar top or a stove top grill, the companies are selling something people cannot try before buying.

We all know this right? Then why do so many companies simply drop a product on a page with the buy button and expect results? This is the equivalent of shopping at Walmart.

The difference is, when you go to Wal-Mart, the brand has already created the desire for the product.

“Let’s see, I read a review on this razor and it was a good one. I’ll buy that.” Unless you ARE Walmart or the equivalent re-seller in any industry, you need much more to encourage sales.

Do people visit your website to learn about your brand? If you said “yes” you are dead wrong. That’s what Wikipedia is for. They visit your website to learn what YOU can do for THEM.

Of course they want to know ABOUT YOU but only as it applies to what they want.

If you’ve been in business for 40 years, who you are only matters if it translates into benefits and value to your customers. You could have built really crappy products for 40 years.

So when you look to improve your website, make everything you do focus on the customer.

Tell your company story so that it shows how much value you bring to the table. Humanize your stories so that people see all the great stuff you have to offer from humans like them. Make your customer the hero of your story.

There are some very good business bloggers out that that go so far as to create article guidelines that have a protagonist and antagonist in their stories just like creative writers!

You’d never know it by reading the articles but the stories keep you interested because of this method.

If you sell multiple brands you should have a landing page discussing the value the brand can provide to your customers. This page links to the products of course.

By using a customer-centric approach you may find that your copy is better than what is written on the brand’s site, or at least it integrates with the brand’s message to further the sale.

Ask yourself, “what is the best medium to get this point across?” Is it copy, video, a graphic, all of the these? Speed is crucial and you need to tell your story very quickly.

If you are the brand and you also provide ecommerce then it’s all in your hands. Telling your story aligned with your business goals is important too. Don’t just talk about what YOU’VE done.

What are you doing for your customers now or what will you do in the future?

Ann Handley of Marketing Profs says to make your words the hero of your site design, instead of plopping them into a completed design. If you just plop words into your design, you are treating your content as secondary to the design of the site.

The best web copy is simple, to the point and very straight forward. Lose the overly wordy blah blah blah. The longer the message, the longer the time involved for the brain to understand what it is you are trying to say. The reader has to “suspend” comprehension to get through the message first.

Don’t use long paragraphs either. White space is your friend and use it to break up your thoughts. Using multiple columns can help too. Just keep mobile in mind as these multiple columns should collapse into one for small mobile devices.

Everyone at your company can contribute to this process. It should be something that is constantly refined and improved upon. Hold meetings once a month and get input.

People often think, “okay my site is complete, now I can do other things.” But if you spend a little time each week or month refining your messaging, it can go a long way to increasing your sales.

So keep it simple and focus on your customer value. It’s bound to bring you good results. If you need some help selling the intangible click here to learn more about what I can do for you!

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